Monday, May 3, 2010

Passion Fruit Cheesecake Truffles

Passion fruit just sounds like it belongs somewhere on a wedding menu, doesn't it? Well, in the case of my friend's recent bridal shower, not only was the name of this fruit fitting, it also captured the tropical flavors of Hawaii for their luau themed shower. I incorporated the sweet flavors of passion fruit to make these Passion Fruit Cheesecake Truffles for her sweets table...

When truffles come to mind, most people think of chocolate. As much as I like chocolate, it can be a pain and messy to work with. An easier alternative (at least to me) is making truffles using cake or even cheesecake. I like the idea of making a cake that doesn't have to be perfect, smashing it up to pieces and then rolling them into balls and coating them. That's exactly how I made these Passion Fruit Cheesecake Truffles.

I started with my go-to cheesecake recipe which I baked up. After baking, the cheesecake cools and then is smashed up in a large bowl. I added a reduction made of passion fruit pulp and some sugar to the bowl along with crushed graham crumbs for the right truffle consistency. The mixture is then left to chill and set up a bit before scooping and then rolling in a coat of more graham cracker crumbs. The end result is a pretty easy cheesecake truffle!

Now if you're looking for convenience, skip making the cheesecake from scratch and use a frozen pre-made cheesecake. (Don't worry... I won't tell!) If you're not able to find passion fruit pulp, no worries. Use whatever cheesecake flavor you do like and make them into truffles... the possibilities are only as limited to whatever cheesecakes you make or purchase!


Passion Fruit Cheesecake Truffles
original Joelen recipe

Cheesecake recipe: (or use a store bought cheesecake)
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
3 large eggs
1/4 cup lemon juice

Preheat oven to 300ºF. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in small bowl; press firmly into bottom of ungreased 9-inch springform pan.

Beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add eggs and lemon juice; mix well. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake cheesecake in the preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes or until center is set. Cool for 1 hour and then chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.


Passion Fruit Reduction:

14 oz package frozen passion fruit pulp, thawed*
1/4 cup white sugar

Combine thawed passion fruit pulp and sugar in a small sauce pan. Allow it to come to a boil and let it reduce down to 3-4 tablespoons, about 10-15 minutes.
* You can find passion fruit pulp at Latino markets in the frozen section.


To assemble the truffles:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs

Place the chilled cheesecake and the passion fruit reduction in a large bowl and mash up until fully combined.

Add 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs to the bowl and stir until you have a consistency of a loose cookie dough that will hold it's shape when rolled into a ball. You may need to add more crumbs so go by feel. Cover with plastic wrap and chill mixture for at least 2 hours to set and allow flavors to meld.

Using a small scoop, scoop mixture from the bowl and roll into a small ball with your hands. Roll each truffle in the remaining graham cracker crumbs to coat. Serve chilled or at room temperature.